المدونة
Volume 7, Numéro 1, Pages 591-610

Biblical Archetypes And The Representation Of The West As A “demonic Other” In Ama Ata Aidoo’s Our Sister Killjoy

Authors : Chaabane Ali Mohamed .

Abstract

In this paper, an attempt is made to offer an archetypal reading of Ama Ata Aidoo’s semi-biographical novel Our Sister Killjoy by relating her appropriation of the archetypal patterns from the biblical narrative to the castigation of the West as an embodiment of evil. This stereotypical representation of the West is partly achieved through her symbolic reference to the biblical story of the “Fall from Grace” on the one hand and the explicit condemnation of the Western degenerate culture which naturalises homosexuality that was practised by the dwellers of the biblical city of Sodom on the other. It is indeed the German woman Marija who almost causes the novel’s heroine Sissie to “fall from grace” by inciting her to adore Western commodities and thereby seducing her into a lesbian relationship. Also, through the Sissie’s sojourn in Europe, Aidoo satirises the idealistic view of the West that compares it to paradise. In sum, by representing the West as a “demonised other” through the redeployment of the biblical archetypes in this novel, Aidoo kills two birds with one stone: indicting Africa’s neo-colonial domination by the West and inviting Africans to take part in the process of regenerating their continent.

Keywords

Archetypal Criticism, Biblical Archetypes, Representation of the West, Ama Ata Aidoo, Our Sister Killjoy.